Greasy Lake Summary

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“Greasy Lake” by T.C. Boyle follows a group of well read college students desperate to portray themselves as hardened badasses by drinking cheap alcohol and cruising around town till the break of dawn. On the third night of summer vacation, the boys fid themselves at Greasy Lake going toe to toe with a shady character they mistakenly identified as a friend. The ever-worsening situation results in the shady individual collapsing from a tire iron to the head, sending the group of boys into a destructive fervor. The boys narrowly escape persecution from a group of true greasers by plunging into the woods and waters of Greasy Lake where the narrator brushes shoulders with a water logged carcass and emerges changed by his experience. “Greasy Lake’s” …show more content…

Only when the narrator finds himself bumping shoulders with a floating body in Greasy Lake does he feel “the tug of fear” (5) and the darker side of the persona he attempted to take on. “Greasy Lake” is written in 1st person point of view. The narrator is a college age boy whose use of “I” such as “I blundered into something” (4) and “I don’t know how long I lay there” (5) shows that the story is seen through his perspective. The use of 1st person in “Greasy Lake” better allows the reader to understand the complex emotions and viewpoints of the narrator. The narrator’s constant allusions to things only well educated people would recognize such as “Virgin Spring” (4) shows that despite portraying himself to others as a hardened rebel, he is an intellectual with a strong educational background.
Had “Greasy Lake” been written in 3rd person it would not possess the same level of intimacy. In 1st person the narrators unreliability is highlighted in a way that 3rd person cannot. The reader would lose the ability to distinguish between the narrators outward persona and his inner self. An example of this is when the narrator expresses that he keeps a tire iron under his seat because thats what “bad characters” (6) did. Without this insight the narrator would be painted as a true badass, instead of the poser that he truly

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